Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Afternoon Tea - Blogmas

Today we went for a Christmas Afternoon Tea at one of the local tearooms. This has almost become an annual tradition for my family, as my Dad's birthday is so close to Christmas we use it as a mini pre-birthday and Christmas celebration. It's nice to catch-up with immediate family members and enjoy a selection of naughty goodies. We, as a family, are particularly fond of Afternoon Teas and are always looking for a new place to visit to test their version of the British speciality. 

If you know any great Afternoon Tea spots that I could visit, please let me know!

Love & Kisses,

Vicki xoxo

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Christmas Cookies - Blogmas

I know I've already missed a week of Blogmas posts - but I have the good excuse that I was on holiday in Berlin (post to come)! This evening my sister and I baked some Christmas cookies to get into the festive spirit a little bit more.

We already had the cookie cutters, so we went to Waitrose to get the ingredients for gingerbread men. After spending some time gathering all that we needed, we headed to the baking isle and found a Christmas Gingerbread Men Kit! We put all of our ingredients back and decided to try out the kit instead. 

The cookies are cute and taste alright, but I'm sure if we made them from scratch that they'd taste much better. My sister and I have agreed that we will have to re-attempt them ourselves at some point before Christmas. 

Here are a few pictures from our evening baking session!

Have you done any festive baking or cooking? I'd love to hear about any recipes that were particularly yummy!

Love & Kisses,

Vicki xoxo

Monday, December 01, 2014

Cutest Gingerbread House - Blogmas 2014

Every year at the beginning of December, I go to our local "Heidi's" Bakery and buy the cutest, candy-coated, Gingerbread House. Year-to-year they look slightly different as they are handmade, but they are always adorable and extremely scrummy! 

For my first 'Blogmas' post I thought I'd just share a few pictures of this year's Gingerbread House that I bought today. Please excuse the poor quality photos taken on my iPhone (and in bad lighting)! I'll take photos of it unwrapped after Christmas so you can see it better.

I totally recommend anyone who has a Heidi's near them to buy one as they are only £11.95 and worth every single penny! I may even attempt my own version at some point this December! 

Love & Kisses,


Friday, November 28, 2014

Keeping Moisturised all Year Round!

It's wintertime now, and I can feel my skin becoming more dry since the heating's been turned on. I use simple moisturisers as I'm still fairly young, but I will soon be looking at investing in some more up-market anti-ageing skincare products. 

Here are just a few of the products I'm currently using whatever the weather:

Pictured is the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor. I love the smell of all the Aussie products and how soft they make my hair feel. I use this treatment and a couple of other Argan Oil ones, once a week (ok, sometimes once a fortnight if I remember)!

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula  -  I know this body butter is meant for stretch-marks, but it feel so hydrating on the skin! I use this on my whole upper body, hips and thighs. It leaves my skin feeling so healthy and I know I'm protecting my skin in preparation for future pregnancies (hopefully) and to reduce the likelihood of stretch-marks.

Face (& Body):
I know I shouldn't, but I use Nivea Soft Moisturising Cream on my face every day. The smell is so clean and fresh, and I love how the cream sinks into my skin leaving it feeling super soft and hydrated! I also use this product on my body and hands. I do probably need to by a face cream though!

Wearing Nivea's Lip Butter it's SO hard not to lick your lips! It smells AMAZING and tastes sweet too! I don't usually put lip balm on as I usually wear moisturising lipsticks, but this winter my lips have definitely needed a little bit of extra care!

I would love to know what products you use to keep your whole body feeling good - let me know in the comments below!

Love & Kisses,

Vicki xoxo

Sunday, October 26, 2014

How to beat First Day at New Job nerves

This is a pretty random subject to write a blogpost about, but I have my reasons! I had my first day at my new job a couple of weeks ago and was quite anxious about it. I wanted to be as stress-free as possible on the day and take everything in my stride. I hardly slept the night before, couldn't eat breakfast and wondered if I'd forgotten anything. Despite this the day went very well! I felt as prepared as I could have been and everyone I met was very welcoming and kind. Reflecting on this experience, I thought I'd write a list of ways to beat 'first day nerves' just in case it helps anyone relax a little before starting a new job.

1. Preparation!
- Know what you need to wear and lay out your outfit the night before.
- Ask whether you need to bring anything (i.e. laptop, packed lunch etc) and make sure everything is prepared and ready the night before.
- Find out where your job is, how to get to it and how long it will take you. Remember to try to be a little early!
- Fill your car with petrol or buy your train ticket / bus pass the day before.
- Make sure you have a drinks bottle for water. It's important to stay hydrated and drinking helps to prevent dry-mouth when you're nervous.
- Make sure you have change in your purse for the car park, vending machine, or just in case.
- Make a checklist of everything you need and everything you need to do, Lists help to clear your mind and keep you on track.

2. The night before ...
- Try to relax! (easier said than done, I know!)
- Keep yourself occupied to avoid intrusive thoughts and anxiety.
- Have a nice, hot bath, or paint your nails. Pampering can help you to relax, but also makes you feel and look good.
- Eat a filling and nutritious evening meal. You probably will be too nervous for breakfast in the morning so you need to make sure you eat well the night before.
- Set a few alarms. I always set 2 or 3 alarms to make sure I definitely wake up when I'm supposed to do something important the next morning. Leave enough time for you to get ready in the morning at a relaxed pace so that you are not stressed or rushed.

3. The first day ...
- Get ready to some relaxing music and a good radio station.
- Drink lots of water and try to have even just a little nibble of breakfast.
- Make yourself feel and look good! Make-up and perfume can boost your confidence.
- On the journey sing to the radio to distract yourself.
- It's your first day - they expect you to be nervous! No one expects you to be an expert on your first day of a new job!!
- Smile and say 'hello' to everyone you come across at work.
- Be polite, approachable and listen to everything that is said to you (even if you don't even remember half of it).
- Ask lots of questions. Don't be afraid to ask about something if you don't understand.
- Remember your manners. Manners go a long way, so remember to say 'please', 'thank you' and 'pardon'.

Those are the only points I can think of right now! I'm sure I've forgotten lots that I was thinking of including! Do you have any tips or tricks on how to make a first day less daunting?

Love & Kisses,

Vicki xoxo

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mini Festive Asda Haul

It's still only October but everywhere I go I see so much cute Christmas stuff! When the winter Asda catalogue came out I spotted two cushions I just had to have. 

The 'retro deer' cushion was £7 and the 'Merry Christmas deer scene' cushion was £6 (I'm not sure what the cushions actual names are). I also picked up a 6-pack set of Yankie festive candles for £6 and a cracked mirror candle holder for £3.

I saw some adorable Fairisle mugs too, but I thought I'd save buying those for a later date to spread the Xmas-themed purchases. I can't wait for December so I can start bringing out all of my decorations!! 

What so you think of my mini haul? Have you seen anything particularly adorable in the shops?

Love & Kisses,

Vicki xoxo

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

BeautyUK Products - Review

I bought some BeautyUK products two weeks ago and have been testing them out. See what I think of these budget beauty buys below!

BeautyUK  -  Posh Palette no.1  -  EDEN
BeautyUK  -  Posh Palette no.1  -  EDEN
I like the selection of colours this palette has - a combination of matte and metallic shades of nude, bronzes and browns. I felt I could use every single colour on the palette - unlike some others where I don't like all of the eye-shadows.
However, this is where all the positives end. The eye-shadows aren't as pigmented as Urban Decay's shadows. The brushes are cheap looking and feel cheap also. They aren't great at blending or even getting the colour from the palette. 
The eye-shadow does stay put all day, but don't have such a dramatic effect or coverage as other higher branded eye-shadows.

Value for Money: 
I bought the product for £5.99 from Superdrug.
The palette was very reasonably priced in comparison to other branded palettes, but you pay for quality. 

Simple, clean and basic. Not awful to look at, but not overly glamorous. 

Would I recommend it to a friend: 
I would recommend it to a friend who cannot afford a more high-end palette, but I would explain the downfalls of the product.

BeautyUK  -  High Brow  -  Eyebrow Kit
BeautyUK  -  High Brow  -  Eyebrow Kit
In this eyebrow kit you get:
a double ended brush with an angled brush and a blending brush,
eyebrow wax, and
three shades of setting powder.

I used both ends of the brush, the wax and the lightest setting powder shade. The wax felt really strange to apply and on my eyebrow at first. Once I had coloured in my eyebrows with the setting powder, however, I soon forgot about the wax and liked the way my eyebrows looked.
I didn't use the tweezers so I don't know if they are any good, and I also have not used the dark brown or black setting powders as they would be far too dark for my hair / complexion. 
The brush provided isn't great quality, so I would recommend using an alternative one if possible.

Value for Money:
I bought this BeautyUK Eyebrow Kit for £3.99 from Superdrug.
I don't mind paying £3.99 for this product, but I probably could buy a slightly better branded kit for only a few pounds more. I think that if you're working with a tight budget, this product is alright.

Like the other BeautyUK products, the eyebrow kit comes in simple packaging. For this product I don't mind the minimalistic look.

Would I recommend it to a friend:
For a product under four pounds, I think this is an okay purchase. If you have a bigger budget though - get a nicer version!

BeautyUK  -  Blush & Brush  -  no.3 Upper East Side 
BeautyUK  -  Blush & Brush  -  no.3 Upper East Side
I quite like this shade for the more autumnal seasons. I've been wearing a peach-coloured blusher until recently, but I feel like now the weather's a bit cooler I want a more pink-coloured shade. 
I like the shade of this blush, but I use my own brush to apply it to my cheekbones because the brush provided isn't fantastic.

Value for Money:
This blusher is £2.99 from Superdrug, which I think is very cheap for a blusher. 

Simple, compact, easy to fit into any make-up bag. Nothing fancy, but it's not like you need anything over-the-top for a simple blush.

Would I recommend it to a friend:
Yes. Out of the BeautyUK products I tried, this is probably the only one I would talk to a friend about. It cheap, a nice shade and lasts all day.

Thanks for checking out my review! Have you tried any of these BeautyUK products (or any of their others)? What did you think?

Love & Kisses,

Vicki xoxo

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Jersey Trip - Day 3 & 4

Day 3:

Yesterday was such a beautiful day here again in Jersey. We had a relaxed breakfast at the apartment and enjoyed the views.

One of the views from the apartment.

We visited the Jersey War Tunnels at midday which was very interesting. In Jersey this have lots of these old German tunnels in which there was a hospital and many other things to service the German Army during the war. It was interesting but quite creepy - I can't imagine what it must have been like to live down there! 

Outside the Jersey War Tunnels.

After a yummy lunch cooked by my Mum, we visited the Jersey CAMRA Real Ale and Beer festival. It was cool because you paid £10 for entry and then were given £7 worth of beer vouchers (which I used for Prosecco). 

Beer Festival!
Once we'd had enough we strolled down to the Grand Hotel for some fancy cocktails. Being a bit worse for wear, Andy sat down on a chair that wasn't there and fell smack on his bottom. He then proceeded to smash his brand new cocktail ... It was so embarassing! It was such a nice bar - we felt so awkward that we left quite soon and left a big tip to say sorry!

Day 4: 

We went to Jersey Pearl to look at some of the jewelry made on the island. There were so many pretty things that I would like to have bought! 

For Sunday lunch we drove to a pub called 'The Victoria in the Valley' which was apparently given an award by TripAdvisor this year. I had a Chicken Roast and Andy had a Beef roast - both were very good, but nothing beats the Sunday Roasts we have back at home.

Jersey cows are so pretty.

After a relaxed afternoon we went to the beach just by the apartment. Andy wanted to go swimming, but the tide seemed to be very strong so decided against it.

I need to pack my bags now. The only thing I dislike more than packing is unpacking - haha! I'm sad to leave after a nice trip, but I can't wait to see my dogs and sleep in my own bed. 

Love & Kisses,

Vicki xoxo

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Jersey Trip - Day 2

Yesterday was our second day in Jersey and it was such a good day. The only this is I forgot to photograph it! :( It was a beautiful, sunny day when we woke up and the views from the apartment were so pretty.

Andy and I went into town and wandered around the shops. They have sooo many jewelry shops here!!! So at each store we daydreamed and pretended to choose what we were going to buy. :P 

After window-shopping we went to one of our favourite places for lunch - Ransom's Garden Centre. Sounds strange, but they do the nicest food there and they have a couple of nice shops to browse whilst you wait for your meal. 

On the way back from lunch we went on a scenic drive of the coastline which was made all the better because of the great weather. We rested up and then packed our gym/swimming bags.

We drive to Hotel de France for a gym session and swim in their big pool. It was nice to have a dip in the pool after such a warm day and also get in some extra exercise. 

Once we'd showered and got dressed, we jumped in the car and went for a late supper at Les Fontains. I was truly ready for bed after the meal and fell asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow back at the apartment!

I hope y'all are having a lovely day too! 

Love & Kisses,

Vicki xoxo

Friday, September 19, 2014

Jersey Trip - Day 1

Yesterday Andy and I arrived in Jersey for a long weekend away. I'm really looking forward to spending some good quality time together without the distractions of everyday life and work. 

At the airport I bought us a little treat for the short flight - yummy Jelly Belly beans. I had the 'Hello Kitty' ones, as I've had them before and know that they are delicious. Neither of us had tried the 'Ice Cream Parlour Mix' jelly beans before and all I can say is "wow"! I definitely recommend trying them - they taste exactly like the flavours they're supposed to taste like! 

We are staying at an apartment that my Mum rents out just by the beach. The flat is so modern and I love her cute decor. This is the guest bedroom we are sleeping in which has a fitting nautical theme. The flat overlooks the sea and has a gorgeous quiet beach-front.

When we landed in Jersey, my Mum was there to meet us at the airport. We headed down to 'El Tico' which is a lovely beach restaurant. As we hadn't had lunch and it was already approaching 4pm, I had a small spaghetti bolognese and Andy had a Crab Linguine. Both were super tasty. If you ever visit Jersey and eat at El Tico, be sure to try their signature Malteasers Cheesecake - it's amazing! 

We then made our way to the flat where we relaxed for an hour and refreshed up. As the apartment is just by the beach we decided to go for a stroll to explore the area. We ended up climbing a cliff side and saw the most stunning views of the island. On the cliff side there was an old german bunker (there are many of these spread out all over jersey's coastline) which Andy decided to explore. Apparently it had old furniture in it, such as beds and dining chairs, but it was too dark to see much else. We discussed trying to find a torch and going back to have a look over this weekend ... but we'll see - it all sounds quite creepy!

After our walk, we went to another beach-side restaurant, 'Le Braye'. Both Andy and I had Chicken Caesar Salads which we swear were the best we've ever had. After supper we were pretty tired so we headed home and climbed into bed to watch some tv shows on the iPad.

Love & Kisses from Jersey! 

Vicki xoxo